Summary: What knowledge do you possess concerning life after death? What are you certain of? The Spirit-filled Christian longs to be clothed in a body fit for all eternity.
2 CORINTHIANS 5:1-5 [GAINING PERSPECTIVE Series]
OUR ETERNAL HOME
What knowledge do you possess concerning [life and] life after death? What are you certain of? Man can be described as dwelling in a body during this time, but how does he live in the next life? What is the deep longing of the soul who has found life here and now? Is the life we are experiencing a mere blind whirl of unintelligent forces accidentally occurring and being structured only by our own or other people's wills? Or is there a divine guidance and a diving purpose to life?
In a very striking way this passage presents the Christian certainty as to his final future by what is occurring in the Christian's life right now. The Spirit-filled Christian longs to be clothed in a body fit for all eternity (CIT).
Paul refused to give into any evil force or be distracted from his set objectives despite whatever perplexity or despair or affliction or any other suffering for Christ he experienced. He could do so because he knew that when his earthly house perished he had a house in heaven. His certainty of this fact was caused by the groaning of the Holy Spirit within him. You who experience the same Holy Spirit longings should have the same certainty.
I. AN EARTHY TENT & A HEAVENLY BUILDING, (1).
II. OUR GROANING FOR ETERNAL CLOTHING, (2- 4).
III. PREPARED FOR THE PURPOSE OF LIFE, (5).
Verse 1 reference our heavenly body as a construct or building made by God. “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
The knowledge of which the apostle says “we know” is a specific knowledge which has been granted to seeking believers. It does not spring from human intellect but rises from one’s relationship with the Holy Spirit. John spoke of this knowledge that comes out of one's love relationship with God in John 14:21. “He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest [disclose] Myself to him.”
When the famous biologist LOUIS PASTEUR stood at the bedside of his dying daughter, he said, "I know only scientifically determined truth, but I am going to believe what I wish to believe, what I cannot help but believe -I expect to meet this child in another world."
Pasteur's great affirmation of faith stopped short of being absolute scientific certainty. The most devoted and knowledgeable Christian scholars agree that our religious claims cannot be subjected to laboratory testing and proven scientifically. Yet Pasteur was right. The apostle Paul said, "we know." How could he know? Didn't we just acknowledge that we can't offer scientific proof for this belief?
The source of our certainty comes from God as He helps us to sense in our hearts the reality of His love for us (Jn. 14:21). That inner witness is as sure as any empirical test. Jesus said that all who love Him will be assured of His love and the Father's. This is the key to certainty. Our assurance rests more on God's love in our hearts than the logic in our heads. The Holy Spirit uses love to assure us that we belong to God for time and eternity. Blessed be His Name!